Have Fun or Go Home

IS IT CHEATING if you change your goal to meet the reality of your circumstances?

I ask because I’m not sure. But neither am I sure that I care.

As I say to my students when they get a little too intense about a friendly game of dodge ball:

What happens if you win? Nothing. What happens if you lose? Nothing. There are no stakes other than your own enjoyment so ENJOY IT and don’t worry so much about the outcome.

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I changed my CampNano word count goal to 20,000 because I think that’s doable, if still difficult for me to accomplish right now. Still, I think I’ll get more out of this experience if I can at least get close to my goal than if I fail miserably.

The real goal is to keep writing. Feeling good about what I can accomplish is key.

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How to Fill a Page

Before my first child was born, I told my OB/GYN that I was concerned I was a good strong candidate for some hardcore postpartum depression. She referred me to a therapist and suggested I see her before the birth so I could start working on coping strategies before the big event.

I spent three sessions of an hour each complaining about my mother-in-law.

Now, a good therapist–which she was not–would have read between the lines and addressed my issues with expressing emotion and how having a child was scary for me because it came alone with BIG EMOTIONS that I didn’t feel prepared for. My mother-in-law is a frequent expresser of emotions, you see. I did explain that. I did explain a lot of things. But when I said, “I don’t really think these sessions are helping me,” she said, “Well, you managed to fill the hour well enough.”

Let’s skip past the obviousness of her ineptitude and touch upon the most relevant nugget of wisdom for a busy person trying to fulfill a word quota for a Camp Nano project:

If you’re a good enough complainer, you can fill several hours–or several thousand pages–just with that. The good stuff, we’ll leave for next month when the pressure to perform is off.

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Tell me more about my paycheck…

Also, writing is my best therapy. It doesn’t always make for great copy but it does force me to express and examine my issues several times over. And it’s free.

Get Back in the Closet, Unicorn

Geez Louise, Eda, why is your word count stuck at 23 today?!

Well, internet, given that “free time” is a precious commodity in my life and I’ve just wasted half of it restarting my damn computer, I’ve opted to go clean out my closet instead.

My computer doesn’t want me to write today. It’s not procrastination.

It’s not.

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This is what I’ve written today:

I’ve got nothing doing. I had had a nice little fantasy about a Mexican actor I’ve had a crush on since film school.

Go go Na-noooooo!

The Best Thing I’ve Never Written

I’ll tell you what: if Buzzfeed starts banging out the Mad Libs-style fun quiz, I’m never leaving that site again.

Here’s my favorite part of the dystopian YA novel Buzzfeed helped me write while I should have been real writing my Camp NaNo project:

The Chaperones began placing memory erasing coffee k-cups on the temples of all children. Rythe saw this and knew she must make her escape. She had heard a fable in her earlier years told by the children at her school, when the New Government was gaining control. Apparently there was a code to deactivate their android creations. What was that rhyme they used to chant around the schoolyard? Then Rythe remembered. She stood up and recited: “toenail, third rail, 001, jury duty, big ole booty, 001.” Suddenly, all Chaperones dropped their bottles and cans and stood up in unison, then left the room.

 

Toenail, third rail, 001
Jury duty, big ole booty, 001

That’s poetry.

From My Cot in the Laundry Room

I just now realized that today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo and I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m doing.

Part of the reason I’m distracted is because I’m mad at my spouse.

And I just saw an ad for a real book written by a fake character on a show I like which is just… not fair. It’s not fair that fake people get to make real books.

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I hate her simpering smile and her stupid face. 

So the obvious solution to all of my problems is to write a much less sexy, much more sad establishment of a Space of My Own story about how I too would like to take a vacation from my marriage but I’m not a rich selfish bland self-righteous jerkbitch who would ever leave her children so instead I just stay late at work and take an extra lap around Target for some Me Time before returning to my hermit corner to write something that’ll inevitably be ignored into obscurity on Amazon.

Obviously a best seller. Super talented. Feeling like a winner. Definitely not the saddest sack of potatoes in this cellar today.

 

A Hen’s Dogs CAN Bark After All

I’m a late adopter. I know this about myself. I won’t switch to new technology until it’s the norm (and the price is low). I don’t fall for fads because by the time it reaches me, it’s over and I don’t have to think about it.

And I’m not so much in the loop on emerging popular genres. I’m just now finding out that Hen Lit exists and I am deeeelighted.

Hen Lit is the super sassy older sister of chick lit and (in my estimation) it’s for women who can’t be bothered to shave above the knee unless there’s a really good reason for it. Women like me. Who just wants to get shit done in a timely manner. And then take a damn nap.

From HEN LIT: Millions of Boomers Are Waiting For It on fiftiness.com

Chick Lit may breathlessly describe a young women’s first adventure into adultery, her sense of guilt, joy, and whatever. Interesting to other young women in the same brood. A hen will have been there already. If she happens upon a man whom she desires, she will probably know what to do. She will do it without the histrionics, understanding there’s more to life than an orgasm. If a chick hates her boss, she’ll piss, screech, cackle, and finally stomp out of the roost. A hen will just waddle away quietly, exit the yard through a hole in the fence, having first left behind a ruthless peck or two of revenge. A Hen will start her own flock.

Also known as Matron Literature, it’s the opposite of the manuscript I’m currently writing and I’m … I’m this:

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Because I don’t care about first kisses right now. I don’t care about teenage identity crises. I don’t care that my main character is having issues with her parents.

Let’s just… put on some comfortable shoes and go save the damn world instead.

 

 

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Hmm… Oh hey, Camp NaNoWriMo. I think I’ve got a little something cookin’ for you. And it’s got some wrinkles and gray hairs. GET READY.

 

 

And by the way, I think I’ve already written some of this: Lay_Her_Ghosts_to_Rest_Self_Care_and_Spirit_Guides

Middle-aged woman who has no time for drama with love interests? CHECK!

Who focuses on her career and self-discovery? CHECK!

Walking away from a crappy situation and putting herself in charge? Spoiler alert: CHECK!

I mean, love scenes are fun to write but not when it’s all big emotions all the time. Sometimes, you just want your characters to think about stuff, figure it out, help you figure your own stuff out, and then keep on keeping on because that’s what grownups do.

That’s what I do. E’ryday. It’s not glamorous but it’s what I got. And I’m ok with that.

I think it’s time for another Amazon Book Promotion Event! Lay Her Ghosts to Rest needs to find its audience. Maybe there are a few hens out there looking for something good to read.

How about… FREE from June 22 to June 26? Yeah, let’s get that old girl read.

 

“OK, SO LIKE… WHATEVER”

CampNaNo word count = 24,930 out of a goal of 25,000

I’d like to take a moment to thank… myself for setting a reasonable goal. I’ve got about a third of a strong story that definitely wants to become my next book. I can feel it struggling to get out of my brain and out into the world for others to judge and criticize.

Little book-to-be, I hope I can give you the time and attention you need to become fully realized. But if it doesn’t happen in the next two months, rest assured that there is another CampNaNo in July and I’d be happy to work with you again then.

Until then, let’s crank out 70 words of angsty teen dialogue and call it a month.

Love, Eda

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I just love it when a WIP comes together

Fourteen days left to write, so says the CampNaNoWriMo page, and I am less than 10,000 words from my goal. Woo!

I decided to go easy on myself this year, what with the abundance of responsibility the real world has heaped on my tiny shoulders, and shoot for 25,000 words written. It’s a reasonable goal and I’m happy with my progress. More than half-way there with two weeks left to go? That’s a nice place to be.

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And you know how much I love to see that graph line go up uP UP!

 

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No offense to the OG A-TEAM but I love me some Liam Neeson.

Butterfly Affect

Here’s the problem with writing a sequel: You really need to remember what happened in the first book.

I’m currently RE-READING the first book AS I’m writing its sequel and I’m having trouble keeping up. With myself. My past self. My past self had more time and brain power and less children and more coffee.

Damn you, past self.

So my CampNaNo project has stalled out, waiting for me to finish reading what I wrote so I can write what I will write so past me and present me are prepared for future me’s horrible editor’s notes that say things like:

“Are you the same person who wrote the first book because NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE!”

It’s a time-travel issue. Obviously. I’m just messing with the space-time continuum and screwing myself over in the process.

Here, (current) me, read this and get back to (future) me:

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Not too long ago and partially in this very chair, I wrote a book that I can hardly remember now but somehow think I can write a sequel to.